Catering Guidelines & Procedures

A full menu of services, including:

As the exclusive food and beverage provider at the Washington State Convention & Trade Center , we are committed to bringing you and your guests the highest standards of quality in food, beverage and service. We’ve developed the following guidelines to assist you in planning your event. Please review this information and contact your ARAMARK sales professional directly. They will be happy to help you create an extraordinary event. We thank you for your business.
Event Planning


To ensure the proper planning of your event, we request that all Food and Beverage specifications be received in writing by our office no less than 30 days prior to the date of your first scheduled service.


Upon receipt of all written Food and Beverage specifications, your ARAMARK sales professional will review them and, in turn, provide you with written confirmation of the services you have ordered. The confirmation will be in the form of separate event orders for each individual service. Signed event orders must be received by ARAMARK no less than 2 weeks prior to the start of the first scheduled event .

ARAMARK’s Services Agreement (contract) outlines specific agreements between the customer and the caterer. The signed Service Agreement, along with the required deposits, must be received by ARAMARK no less than 2 weeks in advance of the first scheduled event. If the signed Service Agreement is not received by the 2 week cut off, menu prices are subject to change. The Event Orders, when completed, will form part of your contract.


There are a number of “Special Events” that require attention to complex details. These include, but are not limited to, events for more than 1,000 people, weddings and VIP functions. These functions typically require customized menus due to the customer’s desire for a unique event. In addition to strategic logistical planning, additional labor and specialty equipment may be needed to successfully orchestrate such events. Due to these requirements, special events may be subject to earlier guarantee dates and deposits. Events requiring extraordinary use of equipment/china may incur rental charges. Specifications for these events are to be received no less than 60 days prior to the event unless otherwise negotiated between the Customer and ARAMARK.


In addition to designing menus for “Special Events,” our sales professionals are often asked to design menu proposals to meet additional customer requirements. Included in the menu planning and pricing evaluation which accompany these proposals are considerations given to the expected attendance at these events. Should an event’s attendance fall significantly below the original number expected, the proposed menu price may be subject to change.


Your sales professional will review both the guest seating arrangements (floor plan that you will create with your Convention Center Event Coordinator) and the “behind the scenes” logistics to ensure ample space has been considered, making appropriate recommendations for both areas to create the best possible guest experience. Often, large events require catering (dishing, serving, clearing) to take place in areas that are not commonly dedicated to that purpose. In these instances, the Customer and the ARAMARK sales professional will discuss effective solutions (such as pipe and drape) to mask food service staging areas from the guest’s view. The costs for additional equipment such as this, which may be provided by the customer’s decorating company or through ARAMARK, will be the responsibility of the Customer.

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Payment & Credit


If the estimated total of all of your catering orders is less than $25,000.00, policy requires full payment in advance. If the estimated total is more than $25,000.00, you must submit a credit approval form to be approved for billing. After credit has been established, a minimum deposit of 75%, with a maximum of $20,000.00 exposure of the estimated total will be due 2 weeks prior to the event. All remaining charges, including additional charges incurred on site, shall be due and payable within 30 days of the last event day. If payment of the balance due is not received by the appropriate date, a delinquent charge of 1.5% per month will be added to the balance.


ARAMARK accepts company checks and wire fund transfers as payment for products and services. Any wire transfer fees incurred are the responsibility of the Customer. ARAMARK can also accept American Express, MasterCard, or Visa for payments up to $10,000.00 total per event.


ARAMARK’s policy requires full payment two weeks in advance of your event(s).

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Taxes & Service Fees


All food and beverage items are subject to an 18% service charge and applicable sales tax, currently at 9.3%.

All non-profit groups must provide proof of tax-exempt status [501(c)(3)] in order to be exempt from sales tax.

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Catering Guidelines


To ensure the success of your event(s) it is necessary we receive your “Final Guarantee” (confirmed attendance) for each meal function by the following schedule:

  • Events up to 1,000 people require the Final Guarantee three (3) business days prior to the first scheduled event.
  • Events between 1,001 – 2,500 people require the Final Guarantee five (5) business days prior to the first scheduled event.
  • Events over 2,500 people require the Final Guarantee seven (7) business days prior to the first scheduled event.

    Please note the above schedule excludes weekends and holidays.

Once the Final Guarantee is due, the count may not be decreased. For plated meals, ARAMARK shall be prepared to serve 5% over the Final Guarantee, up to 40 meals. The customer will be billed based on the Final Guarantee or the actual number of meals served, whichever is greater. ARAMARK will make every attempt to accommodate increases in your count after the final guarantee is due, however; any increase exceeding 5% of the final guarantee will be subject to product availability. If the count increases within the final guarantee timeline, the 5% overage will no longer apply. If Customer fails to notify Caterer of the Guaranteed Attendance within the time required, Caterer shall prepare and provide services to persons attending the Event(s) on the basis of the estimated attendance specified on the Catering Order(s), and such estimated attendance shall be deemed to be the Guaranteed Attendance.


Cancellation of any convention or individual event must be sent in writing to your ARAMARK Sales Professional. Any cancellation received more than 30 days of the first scheduled event will result in a fee to ARAMARK equal to 25% of the estimated food and beverage charges. Any cancellation received less than 30 days in advance of the first scheduled event will result in a fee of 50% of the estimated food and beverage charges. Any cancellation received after the Final Guarantee has been provided will result in a fee equal to 100% of the charges on the affected event order(s).

Timetable for Successful Events
30 Days 30 Days – 2 weeks 7/5/3 Days
F&B Specifications Due Deposits & Signed Service Agreement Due Guarantees Due

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Special Services


The ARAMARK banquet standard is for service at tables of ten guests with 1 server per 30 guests.

(1 server per 3 tables of 10 guests)

The ARAMARK standard for bar service is as follows:

Hosted Beer & Wine: 1 bar per 150 guests
Hosted Full Bar: 1 bar per 125 guests
All Cash Bars: 1 bar per 150 guests
Additional Server: $25.00 per hour, for a minimum of 4 hours service
Bartender: $25.00 per hour, for a minimum of 4 hours service
Carver: $25.00 per hour, for a minimum of 2 hours service
Chef: $25.00 per hour, for a minimum of 2 hours service

There is no bartending charge if sales exceed $125.00 per hour. If sales fall below that amount, there will be a charge of $25.00 per bartender, per one-hour shift, with a minimum of four hours.


China service is standard for services on the 6 th floor and in the 2 nd and 3 rd floor meeting rooms. For coffee services with china, ARAMARK will set out at least 10% of disposable ware so that guests may take their beverage with them. China is not allowed on the Exhibit Hall floor, unless it will be carpeted with the exception for room 4C when used as a meeting space or banquet room. High-grade disposable ware will be used on uncarpeted 4 th Floor Exhibit Hall floors.


Speaker Water by the Pitcher: $25.00 per pitcher (plus service charge and sales tax).

There are complimentary water coolers on the 6 th floor in the hallways and in the 2 nd and 3 rd floor meeting rooms.

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